2020 IR Workshop - IR for Business as Unusual

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Virtual event September 24-25, 2020
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. CT

The year 2020 will go down as one of the most challenging years many of us have ever faced, both personally and professionally. Seismic change has been thrust upon us in such a short period of time – and it seems each week brings a new challenge. Investor relations has remained at the forefront of stakeholder communications as we navigate through adversity and try to maintain some sense of normalcy. This year’s NIRI Chicago IR Workshop brings together IR leaders and industry experts to help provide guidance and insight on managing the IR function through a period of drastic change.

While the pandemic has transformed this year’s IR Workshop into a virtual event, what has not changed is what you’ll gain by attending: advice for IR officers on navigating business as unusual … insights from nationally recognized speakers … and opportunities for dialogue with your IR colleagues.


IR Workshop Agenda

Leadership in Times of Crisis

Harry S. Kraemer, Jr., Executive Partner, Madison Dearborn Partners 

The COVID-19 pandemic is just one factor that is challenging business leaders like never before to successfully adapt. Harry Kraemer will discuss how we can best prepare ourselves and our organizations to emerge from this crisis as values-based leaders. Learn more about his four leadership principles: self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence and genuine humility.

Workshop Sessions 
Evolving IR Best Practices

Being an IRO has never been more challenging due to new technology, increasing activism, growing demands for ESG excellence and disclosures – and now, a pandemic that is making us reconsider and refine our IR playbooks. How should companies adapt and evolve? You will hear from IROs whose IR programs are at different stages of their life cycles about what they’ve learned and best practices to adopt.


Jonathan Spitzer, CFA, Senior Director Investor Relations, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. 
As the global deputy head of IR for Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) since 2018, Jay Spitzer leads the company’s shareholder engagement, primarily focused on North American markets. Spitzer joined predecessor company Walgreen Co. in 2015 and held a myriad of finance positions, including health innovation new business development, enterprise FP&A and treasury. Before joining Walgreens, he worked at Hewitt Associates. Spitzer earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Deb Wasser, IRC, Vice President, Investor Relations, Etsy, Inc.
Deb Wasser joined ecommerce company Etsy (Nasdaq: ETSY) in 2018 to lead a three-person IR team. She led Edelman’s IR practice in the U.S. from 2015 to 2018, advising public companies on strategic communications including IR, transaction communications and leadership positioning. Earlier in her career, Wasserman was senior vice president of IR and corporate communications for Veeco Instruments, a vice president at Dewe Rogerson Inc. and director of IR for Immunomedics. Wasser serves on the NIRI national board, is a member of the NIRI Senior Roundtable, and received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
Moderator: Karla Kimrey, IRC, Managing Director, Lincoln Churchill Advisors
Karla Kimrey has more than 20 years of experience in the finance and communications industries. Before joining Lincoln Churchill Advisors, Kimrey held the title of vice president of investor relations for Cloud Peak Energy (2009-2016), United Agri Products (2005-2008) and StorageTek (2001 until its acquisition in 2005). She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.


Understanding Today’s Market Structure

Today’s increasingly complex market structure has changed trading dynamics in ways that IROs need to understand and explain to their management teams. How has the U.S. auction process evolved? What trends affect institutional and retail trading activity? Why does the majority of trading activity occur at market open and close? How do trading patterns affect ETFs – and your company’s stock? Should you be concerned about share imbalances? And, what are the potential implications of the SEC’s proposed change in reporting thresholds for 13F filers? Fortunately, our panel can answer these questions and help IROs understand how market structure affects their stocks today and in the future.


Joseph Mecane, Head of Execution Services, Citadel Securities

Joe Mecane is responsible for Citadel’s client-facing equity, options, FX and ETF businesses. Before joining Citadel in 2017, he was global head of electronic equities at Barclays, EVP and head of U.S. equities for NYSE Euronext, and a managing director at UBS Securities and Charles Schwab Capital Markets. Mecane currently serves as chairman of the Nasdaq Quality of Markets Committee, director on the FINRA Board of Governors and member of the SIFMA Advisory Council. He has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Pace University.

Timothy Reilly, Senior Director, Institutional Equities, New York Stock Exchange

Tim Reilly is a 25-year veteran of the equity trading arena. He joined NYSE in 2019 from Liquidnet, where he led New York platform sales and worked across relationship management, product design and strategy. Before that, he served as a managing director at ITG, an independent execution and research broker, where he headed sales of trading, analytics, network and front-end technology products. Earlier, Reilly spent almost 15 years at Citigroup Global Markets, including as managing director and head of electronic execution sales in the Americas. Reilly is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Moderator: Jason Oury, Managing Director of Global Advisory, IHS Markit

Jason Oury co-leads IHS Markit's global issuer solutions advisory business and a team of more than 200 employees and analysts who serve 1,000+ corporate clients, providing workflow solutions and market intelligence that turns IR into a competitive advantage. Oury joined predecessor company Ipreo in 2006 as a director in the Global Markets Intelligence group, and earlier, was an associate director on Thomson Reuters' market surveillance team serving the biotech and energy sectors. Oury has a master’s degree from Fordham University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island.


IR in Times of Crisis

On a normal day, maintaining open and transparent dialogue with investors is a key to maintain and improve stock performance. In times of crisis – think leadership changes, activist investors, financial crises and yes, global pandemics – two-way communication between investors and the company becomes even more vital. Investor relations teams must become experts at communicating in unpredictable, and sometimes volatile, environments. Our panel of IR leaders will explain how they got creative to maintain and strengthen their IR programs during crises, from creating new strategies on the fly to leveraging technology.


Ashish Kohli, CFA, Global Head of Investor Relations, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Ashish Kohli joined Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) in 2018. Earlier in his career, Kohli was vice president of investor relations at Walgreens Boots Alliance, vice president of corporate strategy at Vermillion, Inc., a buy-side analyst focused on the healthcare industry for Columbia Wanger Asset Management, a sell-side analyst focused on the technology hardware industry for William Blair, and an emerging markets debt analyst for Brinson Partners. He has an MBA from Texas Tech University and bachelor’s degrees from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Noel Ryan III, IRC, Senior Partner, Head of the Investor Relations Practice, Vallum Advisors

Noel Ryan joined Vallum Advisors in 2019 to head a client practice that spans investor relations, ESG advisory and shareholder activist defense. Previously, Ryan was vice president of IR and strategic communications for Summit Materials and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, and managing director at Delek US Holdings Inc. Institutional Investor named him the #1 IRO in the materials sector in 2018 and 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lynn Antipas Tyson, Executive Director, Investor Relations, Ford Motor Co.

Lynn Tyson joined Ford (NYSE: F) in 2017 and leads all its IR activities, including strategic counsel to support value creation and mitigate risk. She has more than 25 years of leadership roles in treasury, international corporate finance, corporate communications and investor relations at PepsiCo, YUM! Brands, Dell and other leading companies. Tyson was a NIRI board member from 2004-2008 and chaired the NIRI Think Tank in 2019. She holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York.

Moderator: Peter Verrengia, President and Senior Partner, FleishmanHillard
As a senior member of FleishmanHillard’s leadership team, Peter Verrengia co-leads the firm’s global COVID-19 response task force and its recovery and resurgence practice. He advises organizations and institutions on values-driven actions and communications in response to the pandemic, in balance with strategy for longer-term vision, purpose, plans and initiatives. Verrengia also chairs FleishmanHillard’s ethics and compliance committee and leads its global financial services practice. He is a member of NIRI and its Senior Roundtable.

Roundtable Discussions

During this hour, participants will move between sessions to discuss:

Best practices for virtual investor days
Governance issues that are being complicated by COVID-19 (e.g., executive compensation target changes, diversity, etc.)
How to reach investors in a world of dwindling sell-side coverage / MiFID II